Public Consultation on Oil/Gas Licensing of Belfast and Larne Loughs

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of Oil/Gas Licensing in Belfast Lough and Larne Lough

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) is currently developing criteria for Petroleum Licensing in Belfast and Larne Loughs (the Plan). The plan will provide a framework for how petroleum licensing will be undertaken in the internal waters of Northern Ireland.  Click HERE for more information.

View over Belfast Lough

Public Consultation
The public consultation on the Scoping Report began on the 24th April 2013 and will continue until 14th June 2013.  (http://www.sealoughs.co.uk/public-consultation/)
The consultation on the Scoping Report seeks comments on:
  • The appropriateness of the proposed scope of the SEA (this will help ensure that all issues of potential concern are considered);
  • The appropriateness of the proposed assessment methodology; and
  • Any additional sources of relevant information that could be used to inform the assessment.
Email comments should be submitted to minerals@detini.gov.uk and written submissions should be sent to:
Minerals and Petroleum Branch
Department of Enterprise, Trade & Investment
Colby House
Stranmillis Court
Stranmillis Road
Belfast, BT9 5BJ
The deadline for comments will be 14th June 2013

The EPA received 1,300 submissions regarding Terms of Reference of their proposed research study on fracking.  Oil or Gas exploration or extraction in Belfast or Larne Loughs would also include horizontal drilling and fracking. 

LET’S GET AN EQUAL NUMBER OF SUBMISSIONS TO DETI ON THESE PROPOSALS!

Also see campaign website for further information:
https://sites.google.com/site/frackingfreedocumentsireland/deti-2013

“Point of No Return”

A recent report from Greenpeace warns that “the world is quickly reaching a Point of No Return for preventing the worst impacts of climate change. Continuing on the current course will make it difficult, if not impossible, to prevent the widespread and catastrophic impacts of climate change. The costs will be substantial: billions spent to deal with the destruction of extreme weather events, untold human suffering, and the deaths of tens of millions from the impacts by as soon as 2030 (1).
With total disregard for this unfolding global disaster, the fossil fuel industry is planning 14 massive coal, oil and gas projects that would produce as much new carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2020 as the entire US (2), and delay action on climate change for more than a decade”.
Ecofys shows there is still a 75% chance of keeping the increase in the average global temperature below 2°C if actions are taken now to reduce emissions (3). This would not be easy, but it is possible. One of the key actions is to avoid the massive new emissions from the 14 projects in this report.
Download the full report [pdf]: “Point of No Return. The massive climate threats we must avoid”. Greenpeace International report January 2013, written by Ria Voorhar & Lauri Myllyvirta.
(1) DARA and the Climate Vulnerable Forum (2012). Climate Vulnerability Monitor: A Guide to the Cold Calculus of a Hot Planet. 2nd Edition, DARA, Madrid, Spain, p. 24.
 (2) “The additional emissions from the new dirty energy projects in 2020 are estimated at 6.3Gt CO2/year, while US emissions from fossil fuel burning stood at 5.4Gt CO2 in 2010.”
(3) Climate Action Tracker Update, November 2012. Ecofys Consultancy.

Impacts of shale gas extraction on the environment and human health; the european study updated

Shale gas’ extraction in Krynica, Poland
(cc wikimedia commons, Karol Karolus)

Impacts of shale gas extraction on the environment and on the human health-2012 update
European Parliament, Directorate-general for internal policies, Policy department citizen’s rights and constitutional affairs. 34 pages.
Authors:
Mr Matthias ALTMANN, Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH
Mr Werner Weindorf, Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH
Mr Werner ZITTEL, Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH
Mr Stefan LECHTENBÖHMER, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy
“This study discusses the possible impacts of hydraulic fracturing on the environment and on human health updating a study published in 2011. Detailed studies of environmental risks arising from unconventional gas extraction activities have been published recently on European and national levels substantially broadening and deepening the scientific basis. However, knowledge and availability of information are still limited. High risks are identified in a number of environmental aspects, notably when taking into account the cumulative risks of multiple installations typical for unconventional gas activities.”
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Background
Highlighting the higher intensity of drilling, more industrial activity and disruption above ground as well as hydraulic fracturing technology as key features of unconventional gas extraction activities, the International Energy Agency notes: “The environmental and social hazards related to these and other features of unconventional gas development have generated keen public anxiety in many places.” (IEA, 2012).
The European Parliament and other public institutions at European, national and regional level have taken up this important issue in various ways, including the advancement of scientific knowledge and publicly available information on unconventional gas extraction.
[…]
Results
Significant new insights have been gained within the past 12 months. […] In spite of advances in scientific knowledge on unconventional gas issues a number of challenges and major information gaps remain in the different domains touched. While some of these are of a general nature such as toxicological assessments of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, other aspects require detailed information and data specific to a region or to each individual unconventional gas field. The latter notably includes detailed knowledge of the local/regional geology for environmental and health related risk assessments.”

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